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The experimental Off-Broadway space Ars Nova received a special citation from the New York Drama Critics' Circle and the $1000 Ross Wetzsteon Award at the Obies. And at the Drama Desk, Ensemble Studio Theatre was one of the special awards honorees.
The Wing partnership will assuage concerns in the theater industry regarding the continued existence of the Obies, which began to seem uncertain as the Village Voice, the storied New York newspaper that founded the Obies, came to suffer the hardships that have plagued long-standing news outlets.
Other notable awards include a Lortel and two Obies for The Open House by Will Eno; the latter honors went to the playwright and to Oliver Butler for his direction of the show at Signature Theatre.
"I Am My Own Wife" won a trio of Obies, for Moises Kaufman's direction, Derek McLane's set design and Jefferson Mays' performance.
Obies also were given to the production team of "The Romance of Magno Rubio," "Nita and Zita" and Talking Band's "Painted Snake in a Painted Chair"; the Brooklyn Academy of Music for its international programming; David Greenspan, the author, director and star of "She Stoops to Comedy"; agent Morgan Jenness for his longtime support of playwrights; and Erika Munk for her editorship of the Yale drama magazine Theater.
NEW YORK One newcomer and one veteran, Melissa James Gibson and Tony Kushner, took home playwriting trophies at the 47th annual Village Voice Obie awards May 20.
It snagged Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Obie, New York Drama Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel awards for the Manhattan Theatre Club and Goodman Theatre co-production--not to mention the Pulitzer (see page 18).
Other Obies for sustained excellence went to Betsy Aidem and Andre De Shields for performance, Beowulf Boritt for set design, Michael Friedman for music and Robert Kaplowitz for sound design.
The centerpiece of the Obies was the lifetime achievement award--quite a lot of lifetime, at 90 years and counting--presented to editor, critic and translator Eric Bentley (see interview on page 96).
Journeyman scribe John Patrick Shanley's Doubt--in which an unyielding nun suspects a charismatic priest of abusing a student--crossed the Broadway-and-Off divide (in a production by Manhattan Theatre Club) to round up the Pulitzer Prize and host of best-play accolades from the Drama League, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, New York Drama Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel awards and the Obie committee.
Bug hooked best play and directing (Dexter Bullard) honors at the Lortels and scored collective Obies for its acting ensemble and design team.
But Take Me Out's success was all but overshadowed by one of its supporting players: Denis O'Hare's ebullient, show-stealing turn as accountant-turned-aficionado was recognized at almost every major award event of the season, Broadway and Off Broadway, including the downtown Village Voice Obies and the Clarence Derwent Award for the season's most promising male performance.